Attorney General Frosh Joins Multistate Coalition in Urging the FCC to Boost Internet Access Amid Pandemic
Attorney General Brian E. Frosh
Attorney General Frosh Joins Multistate Coalition in Urging the FCC to Boost Internet Access Amid Pandemic

Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh has joined 30 attorneys general in urging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to fund internet connectivity and internet-enabled devices to K-12 students attending school remotely as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Every K-12 student in this country should be able to access online learning resources,” said Attorney General Frosh. “Expanding access to the E-Rate program will help those students continue their education in the midst of this unprecedented…

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Counties Applaud U.S. House Passage of Relief Bill with Essential Aid, Call on Senate to Take Swift Action

The National Association of Counties (NACo) is applauding the passage of the State and Local Coronavirus Fiscal Recovery Funds legislation, part of the American Rescue Plan Act, by the U.S. House of Representatives. According to the bill, states, along with the District of Columbia, would receive about $195 billion in direct aid, distributed mostly upon each state’s share of unemployed workers. Local governments would receive about $130 billion, which is based on population and split…

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Howard Faces $64 Million Budget Shortfall

Howard County Executive Calvin Ball today released the Spending Affordability Advisory Committee’s (SAAC) Report for fiscal 2022. According to the report, spending requests outpace resources amid slower economic growth, with a projected fiscal gap of $64 million between expenditure requests and projected revenues in fiscal 2022. “We’re facing a challenging economic outlook amid the ongoing pandemic, with a $64 million operating budget shortfall and growing debt service payments that constrain our ability to absorb new…

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MACo to State: Create a COVID-19 Slide Education Initiative

Montgomery County Council Member Craig Rice and Queen Anne’s County Commissioner Jack Wilson, MACo’s Education Subcommittee Chair and Vice Chair, last week sent a letter to Governor Hogan, House Speaker Adrienne Jones, and Senate President Bill Ferguson requesting the State create a COVID-19 Slide Education Initiative in order for local education agencies to address academic struggles due to the pandemic. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and closures of in-person learning opportunities, many Maryland children have…

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Maryland Board of Public Works – March 10, 2021 Agenda

Maryland’s Board of Public Works (BPW) reviews projects, contracts, and expenditure plans for state agencies – many of which have an effect on county governments. The BPW is composed of Governor Larry Hogan, Treasurer Nancy Kopp, and Comptroller Peter Franchot. It meets on alternating Wednesdays and the meetings are open to the public. The meeting will be held in Governor’s Reception Room on the 2nd floor of the State House in Annapolis. Note: In light of the COVID-19 epidemic,…

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Non-Recurring School Cost Entries Are Due March 31

A method in state law for identifying one-time school costs ensures that long-term funding mandates remain unaffected by short-term budget bumps, but approval for nonrecurring costs requires application to the State Department of Education, by March 31.  Maryland’s “maintenance of effort” school funding law, enacted by the General Assembly, requires that counties maintain the same amount of funding for education per pupil each year. The maintenance of effort name derives from the concept that a…

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Conduit Street Podcast Presents: The Divide – How US Counties Are Confronting Connectivity Needs

The Conduit Street Podcast is proud to present The Divide – a new podcast from Light Reading that explores the digital divide: why it still exists, where it still exists, and what needs to be done to fix it. The latest episode features the co-chairs of the National Association of Counties (NACo) Broadband Task Force, Montgomery County Council Member Craig Rice, and Judge JD Clark of Wise County, Texas for a discussion on what the…

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MACo: Costly Tax Incentive Lacks Local Input

MACo Legislative Director Kevin Kinnally today submitted testimony to the House Ways and Means Committee in opposition to HB 1052 Income- Tax - Subtraction Modification - Trade of Business Enterprise Expenses Resulting in Federal Loan Forgiveness. MACo opposes state-mandated reductions in local revenue sources, but welcomes tools to grant counties options and flexibility to pursue their own parallel tax incentives, or to develop others to suit their local needs. From the MACo Testimony: The swift…

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Counties Support Small Business Relief, Request Local Input on Broad Tax Break

MACo Legislative Director Kevin Kinnally yesterday submitted testimony to the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee in support of SB 722 Small Business COVID-19 Relief Act of 2021 with amendments. Counties support SB 772's strong commitment to delivering meaningful relief to small businesses hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic but are concerned about the bill's carryover fiscal effects, which would undermine county revenues and support for schools, public health, public safety, and other essential community services –…

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Counties Provide Perspectives as Bills Contemplate State COVID Strategy

On February 23rd, 2021 MACo submitted a letter of information to the House Health and Government Operations Committee regarding HB 836 COVID-19 Testing, Contact Tracing, and Vaccination Act of 2021. This bill requires the Maryland Department of Health, in partnership with local health departments, to adopt and implement a COVID-19 outbreak response plan. The Maryland Association of Counties (MACo) has not taken a position on HB 836 and its many provisions. We wish to express…

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